The Rocket Engine That Proves Solar Thermal Propulsion Isn’t Just a Crazy Theory

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Source: Shutterstock, https://www.shutterstock.com/image-illustration/abstract-multicolor-texture-strange-beautiful-geometric-1539410036

November 24, 2020 | Originally published by Popular Mechanics on November 23, 2020

This article discussed how engineers from Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory are prototyping a previously theoretical rocket architecture that could carry spacecraft to interstellar space someday. To achieve this, the research team plans to use fuel from the sun to fuel a rocket engine instead of combustion. According to the article, engineers designed the experimental solar-powered engine in the form of a flat shield made of black carbon foam—unlike a conventional engine that is mounted on a rocket’s rear end.

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